Hospital Temporarily Closes Patient Units to Visitors Due to Scabies Outbreak

December 6, 2018, 5:32 PM HST
* Updated December 6, 6:07 PM
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Kona Community Hospital management has implemented additional procedures and protocols as part of their ongoing management of a scabies outbreak at the hospital.

Hospital Leadership and Infection Prevention Director decided to temporarily close all patient units to visitors until further notice as an aggressive preventive measure to protect patients and staff from potential exposure to infection.

Hospital employees are in the process of informing patients of the new protocol. In addition, staff is contacting each patient’s appointed primary contact to explain the situation and make them aware of the temporary closure.

There are exceptions in place for patients on the Obstetrics Unit as well as for pediatric surgery patients.


All outpatient services will remain open.


The scabies outbreak was confirmed on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, when a number of individuals reported that they were experiencing similar symptoms.

A full hospital update will be released to the community on Friday, Dec. 7.

The Hospital understands that community members are concerned about exposure to scabies. Scabies is caused by a mite which burrows under the skin causing intense itching and rash. It can be transmitted from person to person with direct skin to skin contact. It is treatable and is not life threatening. To learn more about scabies, community members can find comprehensive information on the Hawai`i State Department of Health website.

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